MOSES

Real Name: Moses

Identity/Class: Human (Egyptian/Hebrew) magic user (14th to 13th century BC)

Occupation: Prophet

Group Membership: Leader of the Israelites

Affiliations: Angel of Death (Azrael), God, Israelites, Metatron

Enemies: Anath-Na Mut (later Sphinx), Nephut-Sha, Ramses II, Sethos I, Ombu-Doksi, one unidentified court wizard

Known Relatives: Zipporah (wife), Eliezer, Gershom (sons), Amram (father), Jochebed (mother), Bithiah (foster-mother, see comments), Aaron (brother), Miriam (sister), Rehabiah, Shebuel (grandsons), Nadab, Abihu, Ithamar (nephews), Eleazar (grand-nephew), Phinehas (great-grand-nephew), Jethro (father-in-law), unidentified mother-in-law, Hobab (brother-in-law), Elisheba (Aaron's wife, sister-in-law), six unidentified sisters-in-law (Zipporah's sisters), Levi (ancestor)

Aliases: Moshe, Mōŝéh, Moŝe, Moushe (possibly other variants of his name)

Base of Operations: Mobile for 40 years until he died (SPOILER!);
   formerly Midian;
   formerly Egypt

First Appearance: (Mythology) Torah (Exodus 2:1); (Atlas) Bible Tales for Young Folks#3 (December, 1953); (Marvel) Nova I#7 (March, 1977)

Powers/Abilities: Moses was a chosen prophet of the Judeo-Christian God. He owned an ancient mystic staff, later known as the Staff of Moses (among other names over the millennia). Moses used the staff in various ways, including using the staff's shapeshifting abilities to turn it into a serpent and part waters as big as the entirety of the Red Sea to create a dry passage for his people. Moses used the staff under God's guidance and was also provided by God with the support of Angels. (see comments for more info on the staff)

Height: 5'9" (by approximation)
Weight: 160 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: White (formerly black)

History:

(Bible Tales for Young Folks#3/Exodus 2:1 - 5:23) - A woman of the house of Levi had a son and hid him from Sethos I's soldiers, who were ordered to kill every son born to Israelites. When the woman could hide him no longer she put him in a basket and planted it by Nile's river bank. One of Sethos I's daughters found the child and named him Moses because she had drawn him out of the water. Knowing he was a Israelite she called one of her maidens to tend him, incidentally Moses' real mother.

   Moses grew up as the son of Sethos' daughter. (At some point Moses took possession of his staff, we don't know when, we don't know how; see comments) One day Moses witnessed an Egyptian soldier mistreating Israelite slaves. Moses killed the soldier, but was found out and Sethos ordered him killed. Exiled from Egypt Moses fled to Midian where he befriended the local priest Jethro and married his daughter Zipporah. He named their son Gershom.

   Sethos I died, but his son Ramses II continued the cruel treatment of the Israelite slaves, who prayed to their God. Moses tended to sheep at the Mount Horeb when a bush burst into flame and God's voice, the angel Metatron, spoke to him delivering God's order to free the Israelites from slavery and bring them to a land flowing with milk and honey. God saw Moses' staff and empowered it with God's might (in the Marvel Universe Moses' staff was already magic; see comments) and told him to return to Egypt where Moses would meet his brother and future spokesman Aaron. Back in Egypt Moses met Aaron and told the Israelites of God's promise to them. Moses and Aaron went to Ramses II and asked him to let the Israelites leave so they could worship their God. Ramses II refused their plea and instead ordered his taskmasters to drive the slaves even harder. The ill-treated Israelites came to Moses to lament about their situation. Moses conversed with God once again to ask for advice.

(Bible Tales for Young Folks#3/Exodus 6:1 - 7:7) - God promised to take action and sent Moses and Aaron to the pharao once again with a threat from God on their lips.

(Nova I#7 (fb)/Exodus 7:8 - 7:13) - 80-year-old Moses and 83-year-old Aaron stepped in front of Ramses II once again and asked for the Israelites' freedom. Ramses II laughed off Moses' plea and called for his three court wizards including his mutant chief wizard Anath-Na Mut (and presumably Nephut-Sha) to oppose Moses. In return Moses had his brother Aaron cast his mystic staff on the ground and it transformed into a serpent as it touched the ground. The pharaoh's wizards did the same, but Moses' serpent swallowed their serpents with ease, but Ramses II still didn't let the Israelites go.

(Bible Tales for Young Folks#3/Exodus 7:14 - 10:29) - More meetings between Moses and Ramses II followed and each time Moses threatened Ramses II with another plague sent by God upon Egypt. After the ninth plague had ravaged the country the pharao still didn't let the Israelites go, but told Moses if he ever saw him again Moses would die. Moses assured the pharao that he would not see him again.

(Bible Tales for Young Folks#3/Dark Avengers I#13 (fb)/Exodus 11:1 - 11:28) - Moses proclaimed to the Israelite slaves that God would bring one more plague on Egypt and the pharao: The death of all firstborn sons. He ordered the Israelites to mark their doorsteps with lamb's blood to show God which houses to pass. While he told the Israelites that there was only one true God, darkness descended from the sky, the Angel of Death, sent by God himself. (see comments)

(Bible Tales for Young Folks#3/Exodus 11:29 - 11:30) - All the firstborn sons of Egypt were slain by the Angel of Death except for those living in the marked houses of the Israelites.

(Nova I#7 (fb) - BTS) - After the tenth plague had hit the land Ramses II banished his chief wizard Anath-Na Mut from Egypt. Mut's journey eventually led him to the Temple of Ka where he found the Ka Stone, which transformed Mut into the immortal Sphinx.

(Bible Tales for Young Folks#3/Exodus 11:31 - 13:22) - Ramses II finally gave in and released the Israelites, who packed up their stuff and followed Moses to the promised land (accompanied by an angel of God in the form of a dark cloud, presumably the Angel of Death).

(Incredible Hulk II#257 (fb)/Exodus 14:1 - 15:21) - Ramses II changed his mind (influenced by God, who decided still more sacrifices needed to be made in his name) and chased after the Israelites with his army. God warned Moses, who used his staff to part the Red Sea, then led the Israelites through to the dry land on the other side. Once again God influenced the Egyptians leading them into the parted sea where he confused their horses. God then ordered Moses to bring the sea back down murdering Ramses II and his whole army, who all drowned in the Red Sea. The Israelites were save on dry land and singing while the Egyptians finally feared the Israelites' God as they should because he was not a merciful God. Court wizard Nephut-Sha watched this event from afar and vowed vengeance on Moses for murdering Ramses II.

(Exodus 15:22 - 31:18) - Moses and his people traveled a lot. The Israelites hungered, thirsted, fought and murmured often against God and Moses, but each time they were pretty much given what they needed to survive.

   They arrived at Mount Sinai on the third month of their journey. Moses was called to the top of Mount Sinai by God and God gave him the ten commandments and many other rules to live by like how servants should be treated or the death penalty for murderers and punishments for a lot of other stuff (punishment seems pretty important). God also gave instruction to build an ark for the ten commandments tablets, tabernacles and more....more instruction....more orders.....more....more........more. (God is rambling and giving far too many instructions and orders....actually Metatron is rambling, but he, who is the Voice of God, only says what God wants him to say....)

(Exodus 32:1 - 34:28 - BTS) - The Israelites feared Moses wouldn't return and demanded from Aaron to create them gods to worship. Aaron created a golden calf for them while Moses was still up on the mountain with God, who looked down upon the Israelites and wasn't pleased at all with the Israelites already turned against him. God wanted to destroy them, but Moses convinced not to kill them because everything would be fine when his people saw him return with God's rulebook. The ten commandments were hewn onto two tablets, which Moses took back to his people.

(Suburban She-Devils#1 (fb)/Exodus 34:29) - When Moses came down from Mount Sinai forty days after he went up there to talk with God, he returned carrying two tablets with God's ten commandments written on them. On his way down he got tripped by the mad, immortal sorceress Ombu-Doksi.

(Incredible Hulk II#257 (fb) - BTS) - <@ 1275 BC> Nephut-Sha, after a long string of sacrifices, to call upon the Heliopolitan death god Seth, succeeded, and Seth transformed Nephut-Sha into two demonic beings: Gog and Magog.

   New pharoah Merneptah brought the forces of Egypt against them and captured them. Fearing a reprisal from Moses' God after what had already happened, Merneptah had the two creatures entombed.

(Exodus 35:1 - Deuteronomy 33:29) - Moses and the Israelites traveled for nearly 40 years in search of the promised land. (Read the Third to Fifth Book of Moses (Leviticus, Numbers & Deuterononmy) if you want to know more! Get the Torah, the Bible or wherever else it saw print.)

(Deuteronomy 34:1) - Before 120-years-old Moses died in Moab God told him that the land Moses saw from the top of Pisgah was the land God had promised the Israelites.

Comments: Adapted by unidentified writer & Joe Sinnott (artist).

In mythology Bithiah was mentioned in the Bible in 1 Chronicles 4:18 and identified as Moses' foster-mother in the Midrash. She was banished from Egypt for claiming Moses was her own son and left Egypt during the Exodus with the Isrealites led by her foster son Moses. In pop culture Sethos I is considered Moses' step-father. Sethos I's reign allegedly lasted 55 years between 1290 to 1279 BC. He was succeeded by his son Ramses II. Ramses I was Sethos I's father and he was preceded by another pharao who had at least some importance in the Marvel Universe: Akhenaten.

The Staff of Moses was first seen at Marvel in Kull and the Barbarians#1 (May, 1975). Even before Moses picked it up it was a very powerful magic item allegedly older as the world itself and created of wood from another world. Unidentified pre-Adamite human priests fought monsters with it millions of years ago. Far later in a pre-Cataclysmic Atlantis it was held by Atlantean kings. In the times of pharaohs it came in possession of priests of Bast, an offspring of Gaea's son Ammon Ra. Because she had been active since the Hyborian era it is possible her followers from that era had gained possession of the staff and took it to Egypt where Bast was mainly worshipped (before becoming the patron of Wakanda as the Panther God). Moses probably took the staff from the Egyptian priests of Bast. The Judeo-Christian God probably increased the staff's power. He possibly was the one influencing Moses to take the staff in the first place (maybe Moses used his position as step-son of Sethos' daughter to gain access to the staff). After Moses' death it was used by kings of Israel/Samaria and Judah. It was spoken of by Mohammed and was possibly the same as the Staff of David, as his son Solomon had used it to fight off magicians and wizards (it was renamed after him as the Staff of Solomon). Presumably in the 16th century the staff was found in Judea by African shaman N'Longa, who gave it, without knowing much of its power, to Puritan adventurer Solomon Kane in 1595, who used it to communicate with N'Longa over long distances and to fight monsters, the undead and mythical creatures. The Staff of Solomon is also known as the Staff of Kings and was the focus of the videogame Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings, wherein Nazis and Indiana Jones tried to get their hands on it.

Fun fact: At DC the Staff of Moses was one of four artifacts granting powers to Global Guardians member Seraph (Chaim Lavon).

Regarding the <Ca. 1600 BC> timeframe presented in Dark Avengers I#13 (March, 2010). It just doesn't work because even though Ramses II and Sethos I are only used in pop culture as Moses' adversaries and not in mythology it is still what Marvel had previously used as well, placing Moses' history centuries after 1600 BC....and circa doesn't save the reference of being wrong. Over 300 years off is far from circa. See below...

Sphinx (Anath-Na Mut)'s origin was retold in Fantastic Four Annual I#12 (1977), Fantastic Four I#212 (November, 1979) and New Warriors I#12 (June, 1991). The most detailed version is still Nova I#7 (March, 1977).

God sent the Angel of Death down to Egypt. He is better known as Azrael or as Wolverine enemy Lazaer.

Here's a weird quote from Morgan from Fantastic Four: Atlantis Rising#2, where she was seeking to tap into the magical power of the Ebony Blade (it concerns Moses further down):
"In the name of the might and holy Goddess, and the Angels appointed this sword to use--Skd Huzi, Mrgioial, Vhdrziolo, and Totrisi--I who utter this spell, you will not refuse...I call thee, cruel and merciless spirits of the universe, Metatron and Azriel, bring to me my captive foes, or hazard Guziel Prziel--the host of Angels Evil!"

LV translates this as meaning:
"In the name of Gaea, and the Angels (Skd Huzi, Mrgioial, Vhdrziolo, Totrisi) appointed as the wielders of the sword, I demand that Metatron and Azriel bring me my foes, or I'll feed you to Guziel Prziel".

Who are any of these people? Well, the easy ones, Metatron and Azriel/Azrael, are the Voice of God and the Angel of Death, respectively.

A perfunctory google search indicates that the Sword Angels are from an ancient Hebraic text called "The Sword of Moses":
   Four angels are appointed to the "Sword" given by the Lord, the Master of mysteries, and they are appointed to the Law, and they see with penetration the mysteries from above and below; and these are their names -- SKD HUZI, MRGIOIAL, VHDRZIOLO, TOTRISI.

   Though note that this sword isn't a sword at all; it's a list of names of God or angels to be invoked in various combinations to various effects.

Oh, and my 2 cents on the Judeo-Christian God as depicted in Exodus and other parts of the Old Testament is someone I wouldn't screw around with. A really scary character and not somebody to look up to IMHO. I picture him more as a Cthulhu type Old One with a knack for maiming and killing everything in his way, an evil trickster god of death and destruction with a bit of a jealous boyfriend thrown into the mix as well. And let us not forget his death-bringing army of uber-powerful Angels, which could eradicate all life for him if he wanted to.....God wasn't a benevolent being in the Old Testament! Writing improved his character over the centuries though! ;)

Thanks to Julien Vivé for the color image from Nova I#7 & the Incredible Hulk II#257 image.

Profile by Markus Raymond. (with Incredible Hulk info taken from Madison Carter's Gog & Magog profile)

CLARIFICATIONS:
Moses has no known connection to:


images: (without ads)
Suburban She-Devils#1, p34, pan4 (main image with Ten Commandments & Ombu-Doski on right)
Dark Avengers I#13, p1, pan1 (head shot)
Nova I#7, p3, pan3 (serpent fight)
Incredible Hulk II#257, p8, pan1 (at Red Sea)


Appearances:
Bible Tales for Young Folks#3 (December, 1953) - Joe Sinnott (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Nova I#7 (March, 1977) - Marv Wolfman (writer/editor), Sal Buscema (pencils), Frank Giacoia (inks)
Fantastic Four Annual I#12 (1977) - Marv Wolfman (writer/editor), Bob Hall & Keith Pollard (pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks)
Fantastic Four I#212 (November, 1979) - Marv Wolfman (writer/editor), John Byrne (breakdowns), Joe Sinnott (finished art/inks)
Incredible Hulk II#257 (March, 1981) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (artist), Al Milgrom (editor)
New Warriors I#12 (June, 1991) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Larry Mahlstedt (inks), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Suburban She-Devils#1 (December, 1991) - Steve Gerber (writer), Amanda Conner (pencils), Jeff Albrecht (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Dark Avengers I#13 (March, 2010) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Mike Deodato Jr. (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)


Last updated: 05/14/15

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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